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2022ApJ...930..136L - Astrophys. J., 930, 136-136 (2022/May-2)

Retrieval Study of Brown Dwarfs across the L-T Sequence.


Abstract (from CDS):

A large suite of 228 atmospheric retrievals is performed on a curated sample of 19 brown dwarfs spanning the L0-T8 spectral types using the open-source Helios-r2 retrieval code, which implements the method of short characteristics for radiative transfer and a finite-element description of the temperature-pressure profile. Surprisingly, we find that cloud-free and cloudy (both gray and nongray) models are equally consistent with the archival SpeX data from the perspective of Bayesian model comparison. Only upper limits for cloud properties are inferred if log-uniform priors are assumed, but the cloud optical depth becomes constrained if a uniform prior is used. Water is detected in all 19 objects, and methane is detected in all of the T dwarfs, but no obvious trend exists across effective temperature. As carbon monoxide is only detected in a handful of objects, the inferred carbon-to-oxygen ratios are unreliable. The retrieved radius generally decreases with effective temperature, but the values inferred for some T dwarfs are implausibly low and may indicate missing physics or chemistry in the models. For the early L dwarfs, the retrieved surface gravity depends on whether the gray-cloud or non-gray-cloud model is preferred. Future data are necessary for constraining cloud properties and the vertical variation of chemical abundances, the latter of which is needed for distinguishing between the chemical instability and traditional cloud interpretation of the L-T transition.

Abstract Copyright: © 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.

Journal keyword(s): Brown dwarfs - Atmospheric composition - Atmospheric clouds

Simbad objects: 24

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